A Golfer With No Quit in Him Rises Again

by on April 19, 2019 · 3 comments

in From the Soul, San Diego, Sports

by Ernie McCray

I’ve never witnessed
a more beautiful scene:
Eldrick Tont Woods,
“Tiger,”
leaning over
a “gimme,”
gently tapping it in
to a Hallelujah chorus
of cheers
and chants
that came suddenly
like a gust
of wind
and continued
as though
there was no end,
bringing tears to my eyes,
just seeing
this man who,
for a decade,
going on two,
was in decline,
trying to contend
with an array
of young players
who, like he used to do,
keep the ball on the fairway
and sink putts
from faraway
as good as any great golfers
of any day,
all of them,
having copied him,
smart and focused
and fit and trim.

And as they emerged
as the virtuosos
of the PGA
he, in their shadows,
the game’s child prodigy,
began fading away
in our memories
of the stunning shots
we’d seen him make
from behind trees
and from bunkers of sand
and out of tall grasses
and thick weeds,
his game now merged
with rumored stories
of his
self-medication
and addictions
and bizarre situations
and predictions
of his demise,
as injuries
and surgeries
threatened his destiny
in a game
that goes back
a number of centuries.

Who, among us, didn’t think he was done?
But, when he won
the Masters,
what he had really done
was show the world
the stuff
of which hard work
and persistence
are made,
creating a sports story
of the ages.

Can’t wait to see what’s next
in Tiger’s rise back to where he had been
and I’m thinking the sky’s the limit
as he’s shown
there’s not an ounce
of quit in him.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar FJL April 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Nice prose. Does it belong here? I think not. And many of us have not forgotten the fact that he cheated on his wife multiple times while she was raising his kids. That he has a reputation as being cheap and anti-social. And the extra camera time and focus on him during the televised tournaments gets old. My 2 cents, which is about the size of his usual tip.

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Avatar Ernest McCray April 20, 2019 at 3:06 pm

That’s a whole other conversation there FJL. But I remember all of what you just listed. It seems he’s risen above a lot of that, the, as I referred to them:
“self-medication
and addictions
and bizarre situations
and predictions…” in his life.
The heart of what I was simply trying to say is that in spite of these what a Sunday School teacher I remember used to call “stumbling blocks” in his life, the surgeries also – he got himself to where he once was. Those, to me, are signs of a person trying to become better. I could be wrong. But I like what I think I’m seeing in him. Seeing him with his mother and children and sweetheart makes it seem as if he’s made up for a few things. I’d rather wish him well than beat him up for his past transgressions. This is my 2 cents. And I hope he tips better than that (smile). Thanks for weighing in.

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Avatar Jan Michael Sauer April 21, 2019 at 5:06 pm

Agree. Life is not about falling down- it’s about getting back up. Vince Lombardi called that “the greatest accomplishment”.

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